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Damian Lewis Discussed His Double Role on A Spy Among Friends

“You Pull Up Two Very Different Parts of Your Personality for Those Different Roles”

by Stefania Sarrubba and David Opie | Digital Spy | December 8, 2022

Homeland star Damian Lewis has discussed his double role on ITVX’s new series A Spy Among Friends. An adaptation of Ben Macintyre’s book of the same name, the series follows the real-life story of MI6 spy Nicholas Elliott (Lewis) and his friendship with KGB double agent Kim Philby (Mare of Easttown’s Guy Pearce).

Alongside playing Elliott, Lewis also served as executive producer on the series with his Ginger Biscuit Entertainment. Watch 14-minute video of the discussion here.

“I was in charge of the donuts,” the actor joked with Digital Spy.

“No, when [executive producer and writer] Alex [Cary] asked me to come and do it, he said: ‘Will you produce this with me?’. So, I suppose my involvement with it has been that of an EP – an executive producer – from the get-go. Alex sent me his early drafts. I sent back notes and thoughts. He ignored them. And we went on like that.”

Despite his attempts to underplay his EP role, Lewis was deeply involved in the making of the series.

“I helped him develop it. And then, obviously, everyone else came on. And all of it. All of it. Casting through to heads of department, through to doing recces when I could get there, and location scouts,” he said.

Recently seen in Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood and drama series Billions, Lewis rose to the challenge, using “two very different” parts of his personality to complete the tasks.

“The question is interesting, because actually it’s the first time I’ve taken on a full-on production producer role and played a lead role. There is a point where you just have to put everything down, and concentrate on playing Nicholas Elliott. Otherwise you’re going to sell yourself short,” he explained.

“It’s quite interesting, they are two very different parts of your personality that you pull up for those different roles. And there is always a childlike – not child-ish, hopefully – but a childlike, playful quality that you have to remain in touch with when you’re acting. You just have to. That’s perhaps why it takes us longer to grow up than others.

“But when you’re producing, it requires something else – a different part of your brain. It’s sometimes quite hard to do it at the same time. So I found myself for the duration of the five or six months’ shoot just performing and acting, and then I was able to be a producer again on the last six, seven, eight months when we’ve been in postproduction.”

Read the rest of the original article at Digital Spy